One night not long ago, my Wife was looking through a stack of magazines here at the family home in Anhai for some bedtime reading and happened upon this particular publication:

The cover photos–alluring forbidden women in bedroom attire mixed with police detentions, guns, and SWAT team photos–and the main stories in the rag are sort of “True Crime…with Chinese Characteristics.”

The typical story: a public official or businessman has a mistress on the side, and in order to keep her sufficiently in fur and diamonds (or risk losing her to a bigger fish, one assumes), he turns to a life of crime–bribery, embezzlement, graft, theft, overcharging foreigners for airlines tickets, or whatever. In some cases, he turns to kidnapping or murder to cover his trail. But in the end, he is caught and sentenced to jail or death.

Some of the stories are actually as “boring” as a shipment of DVDs arriving in Xiamen and–gasp!!–its procurers trying to sneak it through customs without paying the appropriate taxes. But even these ho-hum type stories are accompanied by photos of models in lingerie or the like with “come hither” expressions on their faces, and it’s obvious that most of these have been lifted from Japanese magazines or advertisements–in one, you can even see that they didn’t completely crop the advertising copy for some line of cosmetics.

A few of the police pictures look brutal–some of the folks being arrested look a bit roughed up–but I’m not sure that some of these weren’t also lifted from movies or the like. A police officer in one of the pictures looks suspiciously like a minor character actor I’ve seen in some Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige films.